Longtan hydropower project, China's third largest, went into
operation on Wednesday after a seven-month trial generation proved
The project's three generators, which were put into a test run
in May, July and October, respectively, were announced to enter the
formal generating stage on Wednesday. It was 14 months ahead of
schedule, said Dai Bo, general manager of Longtan Hydropower
Development Co. of China Datang Corporation (CDT).
In recent months, the water level had remained at 342 meters in
the reservoir, close to the designated 400 meters when the other
six generators start operation as of 2009.
The project was situated on the Hongshui River, a major
tributary of the Pearl River in the southern Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region. It was China's third largest hydropower plant
after the Three Gorges Project on the middle reaches of the Yangtze
River, and Xiluodu hydropower project on the Jinsha River, a
It was a key component of the government's campaign to develop
the western regions and to bring electricity to the
economically-developed but energy-demanding eastern and coastal
An investment of 30 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion) from CDT was
used to build the 216.5-meter-high dam, a ship lock and an
underground generating house with nine turbo-generators with a
combined installed capacity of 6.3 million kilowatts.
Construction began in July 2001 and was scheduled to finish at
the end of 2009. It would be capable of generating 18.7 billion
kw/hours of electricity annually once completed.
Half the power from the project would be transmitted to
Guangdong Province and to the east of Guangxi.
The project would also help in flood control and improving
conditions for shipping. It would also benefit in combating a salt
tide that had been plaguing water usage in cities on the Pearl
More than 80,000 residents in 10 counties of Guizhou Province
and Guangxi would be resettled to make way for the project. So far,
34,207 residents had been relocated to higher ground.
(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2007)